Many people crave more space in their homes - an extra bedroom, a separate dining room or just bigger rooms. But in my experience when people move to bigger homes they tend to fill their extra space with new furniture and other possessions and then they find themselves back at square one feeling cramped again. We moved twice to gain more space and although we did gain square footage (through extra rooms and bigger rooms) we also seemed to become more disorganised and our clutter spread wider and further with each move.
For me making a home more spacious is simple. Simple furniture and decor, light window dressings such as blinds and a disciplined approach to possessions help to create a light, fresh and airy look. This is possible whether you live in a tiny one-bedroomed flat or a much bigger house. Any space can feel spacious if you don't overcrowd it. Dreaming of more space is something we all do at various points in our lives but I would question whether moving house is always the solution or even an option in today's economic climate. Obviously, a growing family needs adequate space but as home ownership and renting become more expensive many people will be forced to learn how to live successfully in a smaller space.
I think It is possible to be happy in a small home but you do have to work at it and think creatively. We found downsizing tough - dealing with excess possessions was gruelling - but now we have done it our smaller home is happy, light and feels spacious. Our days of wanting more space and new possessions, whilst at the same time holding onto unused items from the past, are behind us. In our smaller house our lack of clutter frees our time and energy and gives us more opportunity to enjoy the here and now. We haven't sorted all our clutter, some has moved with us, but we don't seem to be acquiring more and we are more aware of any that lingers.
I'm not saying that living in a smaller home will make you happier but I do think the allure of a bigger home can be a disappointment once you have it.
More thoughts on the subject of the size of UK homes and how to live happily in a small space can be found here in this very interesting article by the BBC News Magazine.